Martin James
Music

Martin James Bartlett, at 23 years an exclusive recording artist with Warner Classics, possesses a fearless technique and plays with a maturity and elegance far beyond his years. His first disc for Warner was released in May 2019 and explores the theme of love and death in works by Bach, Liszt, Schumann, Granados, Wagner and Prokofiev.

Martin James Bartlett’s early public success was as the winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014. This led to engagements with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as recitals across the country. He made his BBC Proms debut in 2015 performing Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He also performed the piece with the Ulster Orchestra at the BBC Proms “Last Night” celebrations which was broadcast live from Belfast on BBC Four and BBC Radio Ulster. In the following year, he performed at Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday thanksgiving service, which was broadcast live on BBC One from St. Paul’s Cathedral. During this period he received support from the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT).

In 2017, whilst still an undergraduate at the Royal College of Music, where he has studied with Professor Vanessa Latarche, Bartlett was a quarter finalist in The Van Cliburn Competition, held in Fort Worth, Texas, attracting a considerable following both live in the hall and online on Medici TV. He is now in the final year of his master’s degree at The Royal College as a Foundation Scholar. During the past season, Bartlett made his debut with the BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Philharmonia and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in ‘Classic FM Live’ at The Royal Albert Hall playing Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.2. At the beginning of the season, he competed in the Bad Kissingen Klavier Olympiad, winning both second prize and the audience prize. He was subsequently invited to step in to play the prize-winners concert in the Kissinger Sommer, performing Bach Keyboard Concerto No.1 and the Concerto for 2 pianos with Cyprien Katsaris. He also played recitals at the Klavier Festival Ruhr and The Riga Jurmala Fesitval, The Biarritz Festival, and returned to play at the BBC Proms.

Earlier in the season, at the invitation of Sir Andras Schiff, he participated in Schiff’s public masterclass at the Salzburg Mozartwoche. In the opening weeks of the 2019/20 season, Martin James Bartlett will appear at the Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival and at the Piano Aux Jacobins in Toulouse. He will also make his recital debut in Paris for the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Later in the year, Bartlett will make a return visit to the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Mark Wigglesworth, and will play again with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Debuts include the BBC Concert Orchestra and the RTE Symphony Orchestra. He has been invited to the Rising Star series by the Basel Allgemeine Musikgesellschaft, and to the Verbier Festival for a solo recital and a duo recital with Timothy Choi.

Martin James Bartlett made his New York debut in the Young Concert Artists Series.


Programme

  • J.S. Bach: Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 (arr. Busoni)
  • J.S. Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (arr. Hess)
  • Mozart: Piano Sonata No.12 in F major, K.332
  • Liszt: Années de pèlerinage: Deuxième année: Italie, S.161: 5. Petrarch’s Sonnet 104
  • Scriabin: Piano Sonata No.4 in F-sharp major, Op.30
  • 1. Schumann: Widmung (arr Liszt)
  • Granados: Goyescas, Op.11: El Amor y la Muerte
  • Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, WWV.90: Liebestod (arr. Liszt)
  • Rachmaninoff: Vocalise, Op.34, No.14 (arr. Wild)
  • Rachmaninoff: Polka de W.R.
  • Earl Wild: Seven Virtuoso Etudes on Gershwin Songs – Embraceable You & Fascinating Rhythm

This concert will be recorded in St Mark’s Church during the 2020 Belfast International Arts Festival and broadcast to listeners in January 2021 on BBC Radio 3.